Get Ready to Jump Into This History of EVEL KNIEVEL Toys

In the mid-’70s, you couldn’t open a comic book — or turn on after-school TV — without seeing the ads…

For the life of me I cannot remember who lent me his Evel Knievel Canyon Sky Cycle when I was a kid. All I know if that I never wanted to give it back.

Alas, honest youngster that I was, I dutifully returned it and pined for my own — or even better, the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle. Well, that didn’t happen until last week — 45 or so years later — when I got in the mail the replica edition from California Creations and the Knievel folks.

Evel Knievel was a big star to us elementary-school types in the mid-’70s. You couldn’t help but be drawn into his orbit because he was everywhere: TV, movies, radio, comics, you name it.

I mean, hell, just last night I was reading Detective Comics #439 and this classic ad from Ideal was on the inside cover:

So I was pretty excited to see that an upcoming issue of TwoMorrows’ RetroFan will include a feature on all things Evel. Or at least the toys, anyway.

Dig the official description of the newly announced RetroFan #15:

July 2021 – 84 FULL-COLOR pages

RetroFan #15 features Sixties teen idol Ricky Nelson as remembered by his son Matthew Nelson. Plus: The Man from U.N.C.L.E., rural sitcom purge, Evel Knievel toys, the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Saturday morning’s Super 7, The Muppet Show, behind-the-scenes photos of Sixties movies, an interview with The Sound of Music’s heartthrob-turned-bad guy Daniel “Rolf” Truhitte, and more fun, fab features! Featuring columns by Ernest Farino, Andy Mangels, Will Murray, Scott Saavedra, and Scott Shaw! Edited by Michael Eury.

The issue runs $9.95 and will be available through comics shops and other magazine sellers. But you can already pre-order it through TwoMorrows. (Click here.)

Oh, and when is it due? June 2021. So it’s down the road a bit — but it’s nothing like waiting 45 years for your very own Stunt Cycle.


— 13 CLASSIC TOYS We Want to See Re-Released. Click here.

— 13 MORE CLASSIC TOYS We’d Like to See Re-Released. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I had the bike and van. I think it was around 3rd grade. Always wanted the canyon cycle too. I put theses up there with the Matt Mason toys.

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  2. Ha Ha… with removeable “Swagger Stick”… I never noticed that before! This was one of my all-time favorite toys.

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  3. The Stunt Cycle was THE toy of Christmas 1973, and I did not get one under the tree that year. My parents simply could not track one down for love or money. My aunt did, however, get me the van, which was basically useless without Evel himself. I finally got my stunt cycle in March 1974 and had hours of fun with it. I also asked for the rocket cycle in anticipation of the Snake River Canyon jump. I didn’t get that until Christmas 1974 and the jump had already proven to be a big joke. Fortunately, I also got my Planet of the Apes figures that Christmas, so the rocket cycle became the astronaut’s spaceship.

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  4. I have often said the Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle is the single greatest toy ever made. So fun, so durable. My kids and I still get my reissue out and play with it from time to time.

    Looking forward to the article, and RetroFan, which I love.

    But man, Evel looks more like Ted Kennedy in that comic ad, doesn’t he?


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  5. Does the upcoming article go into the Team America connection?

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  6. Evel really was all over the place in the 1970s. In addition to his ads in the comics, don’t forget the Evel knockoff Devil Dare in Batman 264

    Hmmm…that Retrofan issue looks like it hits a lot of diverse sweet spots for me : Evel Knievel Toys, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., the rural purge (Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres, two of my favorites).

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  7. That “set of encyclopedias” is freaking me out. Who orders them from W to A? Yes I know that the conventional order means first page of A is next to last page of B &c, but even so… And how is V as thick as G-J? Where do I find Xerxes, Yukon and Zodiac?

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  8. Had the van and the bike. The van came with a tool box ,tools and a ramp that Evil would use to jump over the whole van. Wonder who the artist was who did the advertisement that appeared on all comic books ?

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